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CSULB Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions (RIMI) Project

Principal Investigator: President F. King Alexander

Subproject Principal Investigators:
- Prof. Thomas Alex Washington (Social Work)
- Prof. Jeff Wood (Psychology)
- Prof. Bita Ghafoori (Counseling Psychology)

The CSULB School of Social Work is honored to collaborate with CSULB President F. King Alexander; Dr. Kevin Malotte, Director, CSULB Center for Health Care Innovation; Dr. Dennis Fisher, Director, CSULB Center for Behavioral Research and Services; and Britt Rios-Ellis, co-Director, CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation, and Leadership Training, on a Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions (RIMI) grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Center On Minority Health And Health Disparities. The purpose of the RIMI project is to develop a research infrastructure and conduct research to provide community and public health approaches to reducing health disparities. The project will have four "Cores": (1) Administrative and Capacity Building Core, (2) the Research Faculty Development Core (which includes the faculty subprojects), (3) the Academic Enrichment for Students Core, and (4) the Shared Resources Core.

Prof. Thomas Alex Washington, an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work, and faculty affiliate at the CSULB Center for Behavioral Research and Services, will serve as principal investigator for the Research Faculty Development Core subproject entitled, “Exploring an HIV Status Awareness Model for Black Men who have sex with men” (HSAM). The purpose of HSAM is to:

  • Develop a culturally sensitive web-based behavioral video-vignette intervention to increase HIV testing and HIV-status awareness among Black men who have sex with men (MSM) who are not aware of their HIV-status;

  • Explore barriers to HIV testing and HIV-status awareness among sexually active (both known-status and unknown-status) Black MSM;

  • Explore the feasibility of a web-based behavioral video-vignette intervention to increase HIV testing and HIV-status awareness.

    A rigorously evaluated web-based video-vignette approach to encourage unknown-status Black MSM to seek HIV testing and known status may impact the racial/ethnic HIV health disparity that exist. Dr. Washington will have research assistants who will receive a stipend and will participate as a RIMI Health Scholar. These training opportunities will help the students develop the competencies to achieve promising research careers that will advance knowledge about health disparities.